Archives for June, 2010

Extinct retroviruses

Im glad this reader was persistent in poking me with this Q, its a really good un! Dear ERV– I always thought that ERVs were some of the best evidence for evolution, but I always wondered if there was an additional aspect to the story that is not usually told. I imagined that different strains…

Taliban and HIV-1 ‘dirty bombs’

Read on my GoogleNews today: Taliban Reportedly Adding HIV-Infected Needles to Explosive Devices Hypodermic syringes are reportedly hidden below the surface of explosive devices, pointing upwards to prick bomb squad experts as they hunt for devices. The needles are feared to be contaminated with hepatitis and HIV. And if the bomb goes off, the needles…

Pop science journalists are finally getting a bit wary of the XMRV–>CFS story. The first to stick her neck out is Trine Tsouderos. You know Trine. She wrote that great piece calling out Dr. Oz, and the krazies at Age of Autism HATE HER. Trine is super cool. So I was a little annoyed she…

The key to my obnoxious cheerfulness are my expectations. They are very low. I expect nothing from anyone. Thus when they fail miserably (say, the BP clean up) Im not disappointed. And, when people accomplish even the most menial tasks, Im happy. That being said, the Oklahoma City Council actually approved, 8:1, an OKC Gay…

Sure, its traumatic, but some scientists/MDs could have used a lesson like this when they were younger. I’ve never been very good at math or science. I enjoyed the stories embedded in history and literature but lost interest when it came to periodic functions and the table of elements. So in sixth grade, when each…

Increasing piles of genetic junk: LINEs

Long interspersed repetitive elements (LINEs) make up a HUGE portion of the junk in your genome. They dont have any mystical, magical, purposeful functions. They arent ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for anything, and technically, they cause trouble when they happen to plop themselves upstream of a gene and are thus negatively selected against, but I digress… LINEs…